Blog

The occasional musing about design, games, music, etc.

Designing Through Problems

Often in the creative design/development space we find ourselves stuck on a problem, repeating ourselves and coming up with the same half-solutions over and over. Knowing how to identify these times when we’re stuck comes pretty naturally, but having a plan for moving your design forward takes experience. Here’s a handful of thoughts I like to share with other designers to help get them out of the conceptual mud. This stuff works for me when I’m against a wall — hopefully it will do the same for you.

Read More
aaron
8 Things Game Design Can Fix In Our Jobs

I play a lot of Starcraft. I play at least 10 hours a week, sometimes more if I’m doing well. What is it about our favorite games that make them occupy so much of our brains for noticeable chunks of the day? Jane McGonigal’s new book, Reality is Broken, points to real tangible (and scientifically proven) reasons why for the past twenty-plus years, people have been gravitating into virtual worlds to get their satisfaction fix. I won’t summarize the book here, as it’s well worth your time to read it.

Read More
aaronwork, jobs, career, game design, games
On Game Design & Gamification

As the social revolution washes over us all online, and the traditional media types used for advertising (tv, newspapers, magazines) all evolve in new and interesting ways, brands, companies, and marketers are all looking for a way to make themselves stand out, and get more fans/users/advocates. One way often recommended lately has been termed ‘gamification’. The general concept is that if we take some of what makes games so much fun to play, and apply it to things that aren’t games, then we’ll have more fun doing those things as well and do them more often.

Read More
aaron
After the brainstorm: 8 questions to find winning ideas

My previous post on brainstorms was intended to help get people out of their element, and generate a slew of new ideas. Ideas that hopefully help make you or your clients do things better, and help reach your goals. Idea generation however, is maybe the easiest part of this whole process. The next place many creative people stumble is in filtering those ideas down to pick winners. I’ve been working on this set of questions to help filter out the weak ideas, and pick the strong ones. To give credit where due, it should be mentioned that I’ve adapted these from the genius Jesse Schell and his awesome set of game design practices. I’ve tried to reframe them for more general application to the type of digital work that I’m involved with.

Read More
8 essential prototyping tips

A big part of innovating with technology is prototyping. you need to take a nascent idea and whip up something quick & dirty that validates your thinking. this is a critical part of wrapping your technological mind around the feasibility of something. here’s a nice list of 8 tips that i try to keep in mind whenever i make a prototype.

Read More